Posting has been thin lately because I've been working long hours on a series of projects at work, and MrsDarwin continues on bedrest while her mother has been ably running the house. My attempts at blogging lately have mostly been along the lines of "I started to read this article which would be good to blog about, if I can finish reading it some day and then write about it."
Here's something interesting, though: how one hundred years of inbreeding have exaggerated the physical characteristics of pure bred dogs. A blogger collected photos of dog breeds from the 1915 book Dogs of All Nations and compared them to pictures of modern purebred dogs.
The most extreme example is the Bull Terrier, which these days is a pretty exceedingly ugly dog, but apparently back in 1915 was not.
(Go check out the original article for a number of additional examples.)
Obviously selecting for certain traits and breeding exclusively within a set population can produce increasingly extreme results. This has me wondering what the appropriate approach would be if you were breeding for stasis rather than breeding for increasingly extreme characteristics. I imagine part of the solution is simply not always picking the most extreme representatives of the population to pass on their genes, but it seems like you'd also have to cycle through outside genes with occasional outbreeding as well.
54 minutes ago